REPEATING RE-IGNITION. In May, a driver crashed their 2014 Tesla Model S in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The crash resulted in the death of the driver, one of the passengers, and injuries to the other passenger. On Tuesday, the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) released a report on the accident.
According to the report, when the local fire department arrived on the scene, the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery was not on fire. Still, they doused it with water and foam as a precaution. Later, while the department was loading the vehicle to remove it from the scene, the battery reignited. The battery reignited again at the storage yard. Tesla declined The Verge’s request for comment.
A DISTURBING TREND. This isn’t the first case of a Tesla battery bursting into flames, nor is it the only recent one. In March, a driver in Mountain View, California, died when his 2017 Tesla Model X P100D crashed into a highway divider. According to a NTSB report, officials transported the remains of the car to an impound lot. About seven hours after the crash, the car’s battery began giving off smoke, and five days later, it fully reignited.
Earlier in June, the battery in a Tesla Model S caught fire while the driver was cruising down Los Angeles’s Santa Monica Boulevard. This fire was seemingly spontaneous — no crash involved. Actress Mary McCormack’s husband owned that vehicle, and she shared a video online of the enflamed vehicle.
THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM. Though experts say electric vehicles are less likely to catch fire than their gas-powered counterparts, when they do catch fire, those fires can be more dangerous due to the toxic fumes and emergency responders’ lack of experience dealing with EV fires. Tesla has created a document to guide responders through these emergencies, but figuring out a way to stop its batteries from spontaneously catching fire in the first place is probably a good next step for the company.
READ MORE: Tesla Battery Reignited Twice After Fatal Crash in Florida: Report [The Verge]